I like to divide people into groups with the best of them – There are blue staters and red staters. There are people who like the toilet paper over the top as God intended it and there are people who like the toilet paper underneath. There are also people who like to get flu shots and people who do not. I do not want to have a debate about the merits or pitfalls of flu shots, but I think it is interesting to hear people discuss their reasoning either way. Apparently Google has partenered with the CDC to track and predict the flu’s progression across the United States (Get right to the tracking map here). They are able to track past years’ data as well as frequently updated information from the CDC’s flu tracking. Apparently it used to take weeks to crunch the data from the CDC. Anyhow, Google found that they could correlate web search terms with the data from the CDC. I have read reports suggesting that Google can predict flu trends 1-2 weeks in advance based on their models/web search analysis. Now, truth-be-told, if you know the flu is 1-2 weeks out, it’s too late for a flu shot to do any good. However, I think this could be pretty useful to know when you should stay at home for a few weeks catching up on old episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard.